Three important statements will serve to clarify this doctrine concerned with the future life. (1) Immortality is not endless existence or mere existence after death (for dying does not terminate human life). The unsaved go on living after death as do the saved, too. (2) Immortality likewise is not the same as the gift of eternal life, that which is bestowed on all who believe in Christ. (3) Immortality is something related to the material part of man rather than the immaterial. The commonly used phrase immortality of the soul is most unscriptural. The soul is never considered mortal by Scripture.
Immortality and incorruption, however, are companion terms. As there are two ways of leaving earth for heaven—by death and resurrection or by translation directly from the living state, at the coming of Christ—so many will see corruption and through resurrection put on incorruption, while others because alive when Christ comes shall put on immortality. In the end both groups reach the same estate, that is, a "body like unto his glorious body" (Phil. 3:21).
It remains to be declared that no believer has yet an immortal body. Only one such body actually exists and is in heaven. Christ it was who did not see corruption (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:31). He therefore put on immortality over a mortal (dead) body. He is now the only one who has immortality, dwelling in the light (cf. 1 Tim. 6:16), "and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
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